PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Announces Amended 2020 Plans
11 Dec, 2020
Even with the effects of COVID-19 altering PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s 2020 schedule, the Tour announced Tuesday it will still play tournaments in 2020 as part of a new 2020-21 season, also moving scheduled late-season events this year to 2021.
On December 10-13, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will visit Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida, for the Shell Open. The next week, December 17-20, the Tour will host the Puerto Plata Open in the Dominican Republic. The Tour will then observe a scheduled two-month break.
Because of travel restrictions and other issues related to COVID-19, two Argentina events—the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational and the 115th VISA Argentine Open presented by Macro—and the 94th Itaú Chile Open presented by Volvo that were to be part of the 2020-21 wraparound season will still be played but sometime after 2020, with details still to come.
“The fact we’ll be playing in 2020 and that other planned tournaments will be rescheduled is extraordinarily good news considering all the challenges we’ve faced in Latin America due to COVID-19,” said Todd Rhinehart, PGA TOUR Latinoamerica Managing Director. “Since playing the Estrella del Mar Open in Mazatlan in March and then experiencing the disappointment of indefinitely postponing play after that, we still always felt we would play again in 2020.
“Our team has worked tirelessly with municipalities, health organizations and all of our partners to be able to give our players competitive opportunities before year’s end,” Rhinehart continued, “and this announcement is one we know our players have been waiting to hear.”
When play resumes, the first tournament will take place at a familiar venue—the Golden Palm Course at Trump National Doral, where PGA TOUR Latinoamérica has played each of its last two season-ending tournaments. Following the stop in Miami, the Puerto Plata Open will close the calendar year at a facility, Playa Dorada Golf Course, that has hosted tournaments since 2017. In addition, the Dominican Republic has been the site of a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica event every year since the Tour’s inception, in 2012 and is home to the PGA TOUR’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
When the calendar turns, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica intends to conduct 10 additional tournaments between February and June, adding the 2020 tournaments—the Shell Open, Puerto Plata Open and the Estrella del Mar Open—to the entire wraparound schedule. When completed, the Tour’s schedule will have run from March 2020 to June 2021.
“This is a unique and unprecedented situation we’ve faced, and we appreciate the patience of our players and their flexibility as we’ve always put health and safety first in everything we do. We have also been grateful for the LOCALiQ Series, where many of our members have competed in the Southeast United States during the summer,” said Rhinehart of the eight-tournament schedule that began in August and ends in October. “This has been an extraordinarily successful venture, and we are grateful our players had tournaments to play in that provided competitive atmospheres and money-making opportunities.
“We look forward to seeing our players Miami and at all of our additional events this year and next,” Rhinehart continued. “We look forward to getting back to the pacing that a regular schedule offers.”
After introducing it earlier this year, the Tour will continue with its points list that replaced the money list that made up its Order of Merit. PGA TOUR Latinoamérica will maintain the order after the Estrella del Mar Open, a tournament won by Brazil’s Alex Rocha. He still holds the lead. Only professionals playing in tournaments will be eligible to receive points as amateurs are not able to earn official money or points. When amateurs do make the cut at a tournament, those available points will be vacated and not distributed to remaining professionals.
About PGA TOUR Latinoamérica
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica is a professional golf tour created in 2012 by the PGA TOUR in collaboration with promoters, clubs and national golf federations in Latin America. The inaugural season in 2012 featured 11 tournaments in seven countries in the Latin American region. Since then, it has grown to include 17 events across 10 different countries in 2019. With its revamped format, it will hold events in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and the United States.
The points leader at the end of each season is awarded the Roberto De Vicenzo Award, and the top-five players from the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit earn Korn Ferry Tour membership for the following season.